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Showing posts with the label Abimelech

Genesis 26: Foreigners, go home!

Isaac had a dream.  In it, God told him he shouldn’t go to Egypt or to anywhere else, and that he should stick around.  If he did, God would tell him where he should go, and what he should do so that he would be heaped with blessings, and that his descendents would be, as well, and any country where they would choose to live in the future would be happy to have them.  God told him to go to Gerar, where the Philistines were.  Gerar wasn’t a great option—it was no better, in fact, than where he’d been living before.  There was a drought everywhere, so moving on was tempting.
The king of the Philistines at Gerar was, of course, Abimelech.  This might have been the same King Abimelech whom Abraham ran into; this might have been a different one.  Since the name Abimelech translates roughly as “my father was the king,” it’s possible that this Abimelech was just another one in a long royal line of Abimelechs.  Like Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah decided to settle in to Gerar.  And lik…

Genesis 21: When to send your infant son and his mother into the desert

Genesis 20: Abraham is his own brother-in-law!

Before anything else burned to the ground, Abraham decided to clear out of Mamre.  He headed for the Negev Desert, because how’s anyone going to burn down a desert?  Following some bad maps, he headed to a spot between Kadesh and Shur, a nice little community called Gerar.  Still, Abraham didn’t much trust the locals, and felt safer telling them that Sarah was his sister and not his wife.  King Abimelech of Gerar asked to have Sarah brought to him, because kings can do that with unmarried women, so this little white lie of Abraham’s was going to lead to trouble, even though no one really understood why he’d feel the need to lie about this in the first place.  Yahweh turned up in Abimelech’s dream some time after this and told him, “You’re going to die, ‘cause that new piece of chattal you took is a married woman.  Big mistake!”  Abimelech didn’t think this was fair, because he hadn’t yet laid a hand on her.  “Lord, what’s the deal?  Why would You kill someone for something he didn’t e…